Avera expands to two visitors per patient with exceptions

ABERDEEN, S.D.(Press Release) – Most patients at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital, clinics and emergency department are now able to have two visitors per day, with exceptions.

Visitors must be at least 18 years old. One of the visitors may be clergy, if the patient or their family allows.

There are no visitors allowed for COVID-positive or kidney dialysis patients and only one visitor is allowed per patient at Avera Orthopedics and Avera Dakota Plains Surgical Center, which includes AMG Pain Management and AMG Physical Medicine and Rehab.

Patients in the Birthplace may have one person stay throughout their care and also have one adult visitor per day. These patients will receive more details and further instructions from their OB/GYN.

Long-term care visitations are still determined by state and federal guidelines, as well as county positivity rates. These visitation policies could change at any time.Visitors must be screened, including a temperature check, wear masks within any Avera facility, and practice social distancing when possible. Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or that has been exposed should not visit.

The increase in the number of visitors per patient per day is due to the decline of COVID-positive cases throughout the state and an adequate supply of protective equipment including masks. It’s important to remember that the pandemic is not over. People should still wear a mask, wash their hands, practice social distancing and stay home when sick.

“The health and safety or our patients and our employees continues to be our highest priority,and we know patients benefit from have their loved ones visit. Because COVID-19 is still in our population, we must be cautious and yet hopeful as we expand visitation within our facilities,” said Regional President and CEO Todd Forkel.

The change was put into effect on February 17. Visiting hours for the hospital are currently 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. These are subject to change